- Ringo Starr acted in several films over the course of his career.
- Ringo Starr was the first narrator of the children’s series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.
- In 1990, Ringo Starr returned to the Thomas the Tank Engine world in Shining Time Station.
After The Beatles broke up, the former members embarked on their solo careers. For all of them, this meant working with new musicians and producing solo albums. For Ringo Starr, this also meant pursuing a number of acting roles. Though he decided to move away from movies in the 1980s, he took a role in television as the narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends. Starr later appeared in a spinoff series.
The drummer acted far more than his Beatles bandmates
The Beatles made their onscreen debuts in the 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night and later acted in the film Help. Starr was a natural, and the films provided him with a chance to shine.
“He was used perfectly in the movies,” radio host Chris Carter said, but Variety. “In A Hard Day’s Night, he had his own scene and his own theme; in Help it’s all about the ring and Ringo; he sings the title song for Yellow Submarine. So if you think about it, he was really used to great effect, and I don’t think the other guys minded it at least.”
Starr pursued acting far more seriously than his bandmates. He has appeared in a number of films, including Son of Dracula, The Magic Christianand cavemen, where he met his wife, Barbara Bach. Eventually, though, Starr decided to prioritize his music over his acting.
“(That) all went downhill, and my recording career went downhill,” he said. “I was too busy doing other stuff. And I realized that there’s enough actors; I’m a musician.”
Ringo Starr was the first narrator of ‘Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends’
Still, Starr didn’t completely give up on his film and television roles. In 1984, he became the narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends. The series followed Thomas the Tank Engine and a number of other anthropomorphized trains.
Starr’s role was not a small one. In the early seasons of the show, the narrator was the only voice-over in the series. Starr served as the narrator for the show’s first two seasons. When he left the series, George Carlin replaced him. Since then, actors such as Pierce Brosnan, Alec Baldwin, and Mark Moraghan have been narrators for the series.
Ringo Starr returned to the ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ universe in 1990
Though Starr was only the narrator for two seasons, he returned to the universe in the spinoff series Shining Time Station. In it, he voices Mr. Conductor, who tells stories from Thomas & Friends. The series aimed to introduce Thomas the Tank Engine to American audiences.
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Starr left the show after just one season in order to focus on touring with his All Starr Band.